Sunday, 23 October 2016

Now, the next destination was Ulcinj after having difficulties in terms of transportation in Shkodra. You will see Ulcinj and Ulqin on the signs. The first one is in Montenegrin language and the second one is in Albanian.

I was actually intending to visit Budva when I was planning my route, but I decided on Ulcinj possibly to be less crowded.

In this article, I will try to tell my observations on transportation, border crossings, money exchange, accommodation, local language, what to eat & drink and places to visit in Ulcinj.


To get to Ulcinj from Shkodra, it is necessary to get on transporter type minibuses on Rruga Teuta which is located in the center between Hotel Rozafa and Ebu Bekir Mosque. If you are coming to this street from Kolë Idromeno Street, I can say that they depart on the opposite side of the street that you are coming from.

For this route (Shkodra to Ulcinj), the carrier company is Vllazen Lluja and it costs 5 Euros per person. They depart at 6 am and 9 am in the morning. I don't know the rest of the timetable. I had taken the one at 9 am. By the way, there is no baggage fee in Albania, too despite it is common in the Balkans.

The journey takes about 1 hour except the border crossing. If you are travelling alone, it is not a good idea to take a cab.

The point you will arrive in Ulcinj is Ulcinj Bus Terminal. It is about half an hour walk to the Old Town (Stari Grad). For this reason, I would recommend you to get your tickets for your next destination as soon as you get off from the bus. I did so and got my 7:15 am ticket to Kotor.

To get to Kotor from Ulcinj, you have to pay 7,5 Euros for one way ticket. As I said, they depart at 7:15 am from Ulcinj Bus Terminal. The company name is Zejdin and they request 1 Euro per bag.


When coming from Albanian side, the border name is Muriqan and the other one in Montenegrin side is Sukobin. Our total waiting time was just 10 minutes. I had a look at my passport after crossing the both side and saw that only Sukobin side stamped it.

To sum, the journey took 1 hour and we waited at the border for 10 minutes. Border crossing was hassle-free. No questions were asked.


Finally, we stopped confusing after Macedonian Denars and Albanian Leks. Because, the currency unit is Euro in Montenegro although the country is not a part of European Union. For this reason, if you brought Euros with you, like I did, you wouldn't have to stop at change offices.


The hostel I stayed in Ulcinj was Hostel Pirate. They named the hostel as pirate because the city was once very famous for its pirates. The hostel itself is just 15-minute walking distance from the bus terminal. If you are staying at this hostel, their dog, Don, will welcome you. Don't worry, you will be friends easily.

I paid 12 Euros in a 4-bed dorm without breakfast plus they charged me 1 Euro for city tax. I strongly recommend to stay at this property if you have plans for Ulcinj. The owner, Dijana, is a great person with her hospitality and chat. She also offered me and two Canadians to go to Valdanos beach by car without any money. It was a great experience with Don.

You can also use the kitchen for free. There are also free food at the top shelf in the fridge. Me and other guests, mostly Australians, were playing card games and Dijana was serving us free beers.

To make a reservation at this hostel, you can jump on THIS LINK .


I would like to start telling places to visit from where I set out.

Manajve Tomb : I have no idea about who Manajve is as there was no inscription for this structure.


When you pass this tomb and go straight ahead, you will confront with a roundabout in the middle of the road. Until this point, you will see two mosques on your right hand side. First one is called Bregut Mosque and the other is called Kyrepazari Mosque.

If you turn left from the roundabout and walk along the road all the way down to the coast, you will have reached Stari Grad (Old Town). Again, when you step on this road and walked a little bit, you will see another mosque, called Namazghaju Mosque. There is also a clock tower somewhere behind of it.

Mala Plaza : When we reach Ulcinj coast, we will see a small beach. This beach is called Mala Plaza. I was actually planning to swim there, but the weather conditions were not good enough to do that. This beach looked like a public beach. I asked an officer there, and I was told that it is completely free to enter here, even using the sunbeds and umbrellas. The area was something like this:

There are also two other beaches that are just a few miles away Mala Plaza. One of the two is Ladies Beach and the other one is Nudes Beach. When you go further in the south, you can reach the most famous one, Ada Bojana.

Sailor's Mosque : This mosque was built by African sailors in 14th century, destroyed by Serbian forces in 1931 and restored by the local government in 2012. It is just on your left when you are on the Mala Plaza beach.


Ulcinj Castle : The castle can be entered from its North Gate which is nearby a small marina. The castle offers a magnificent Adriatic view. There are also many restaurant up there. I haven't been to any of them, but people recommend the one whose name is Antigona.

When we enter the castle, there are restaurant on the right up there and a lighthouse on the left corner. I also saw two powder magazines a little bit further but there was no explanation about them. They probably remained from Ottomans.

By the way, the Adriatic view near the powder maganizes was something like this :

Archeology Museum :  After climbing the tiring stairs, the first area close to the museum was the Slave Market. And the museum is the old Church Mosque building. It is open until 8 pm and the entrance fee is 2 Euros. However, there was nobody by the time I went there so I wasn't asked any money. I explored all sections of the museum.


The rooms on the left in the picture above, there are old Ottoman cannons, gravestones and some relics from Roman period. You could watch this video:

Before entering the museum area, there is a room on the right. An old Ulcinj city model is exhibited here and there are some old ship drawings on the wall.

Also, just before the entrance of the gate in the picture above, there is an inscription on the wall which is written in Arabic language. I can't read Arabic, but I read Roman number. It was showing the year of 1567.


After having a look at these thins, I went inside of the Church Mosque or Archeology Museum in other words. As an archeology museum, I found this place too small. 


On the left side of the museum, there is a tower called Balšić Tower. It was closed when I was there but as far as I understood, it is used for an art gallery today. There is also another building behind of the museum and that is Etnography Museum. You could watch this short video below to see it.

Once you exit from the Ulcinj Archeology Museum, you will see a short tunnel. Here is the other entrance of the castle. As soon as you pass from this point, you will see the walls of the castle on your right, a cemetery on your left and olive trees and Sveti Nikola Church on your opposite side.

Kılıç Ali Pasha Mosque : If you follow the way from the small tunnel, you will see this mosque after a while. It is an Ottoman Mosque which was built in 1719. This mosque is one of the six mosques in Ulcinj.


Valdanos Cove : It took us 15-20 minutes by car from the hostel I stayed in. There are magnificent olive trees on the way. Though, the main olive production place in Ulcinj is here. As far as what I read on the internet, these olive trees remained from Ottomans and now they were nationalised.


After going a little further, we reached the amazing Valdanos Cove and its beach. We were in off season and there were just a few workers apart from us. I loved this place.



The language used in Montenegro is very close to the ones used in the rest of the Balkans. Some of the words I heard and learnt were :

Ulaz = entry
Izlaz = exit
Zdravo = Hello
Hvala = Thanks
Molim = Please
Kako si = How are you?
Dobro jutro = Good Morning
Done si = Bring it
Hayde = Come on.

There is no restaurants I can recommend in Ulcinj as I haven't been to any of them. However, people recommend Antigona Restaurant inside the Ulcinj Castle. For backpackers, there are IDEA supermarkets at some points in the city.

I have been to a döner place at a cafe near Mala Plaza. Chicken döner inside the roll bread plus a coke was 3,5 Euros. It was very delicious. A slice of pizza was also 1 Euro there. The name of the place was Visar.

Apart from these places, you can also buy delicious "Burek" from the pastry shops (they are called as Pekara in the Balkans). There is one on your way to the bus terminal and one burek was just 1 Euro.

In my next article, you will be able to find my experiences in Kotor.